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Three Superfoods to Snuggle up With This Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

Midterm season is upon us. Stress and burnout are almost always a given during this time of constant bombardment of tests, assignments, and project deadlines. And if stress and burnout aren’t bad enough for you, you also have flu season to look forward to! As the old saying goes, bad things come in threes. To help us get through this unequivocally spooky season, we can all binge watch our favourite movies, light candles, and go apple picking. But the absolute best thing we can do for our immune systems right now is load up on superfoods! I am by no means a nutritionist or food expert, but I think it’s safe to say we could all use a reminder of which tasty foods may be attributed to fewer illnesses and less mental stress. Here are some autumn superfoods that will be kind to your mind and body:

Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)

It’s pumpkin season! You can carve them, sling shot them, make pie with them, or even make smoothies with pumpkin puree. Such a popular gourd, and yet – what about the “guts” of the pumpkin that most people throw away when carving pumpkins? Pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) are a very nutritious ingredient that can be used in a variety of snacks and meals. Pepitas are incredibly rich in antioxidants, which help the body fight against disease as well as reduce inflammation. They’re also high in fiber, which can help ease your digestive system when you’re stressed for that upcoming midterm. Try sprinkling pumpkin seeds on top of your salads, muffins, granola, pancakes/waffles, or oatmeal.

Sweet potatoes

This orange variation on the good ol’ tater is chock-full of health benefits and is incredibly versatile when it comes to cooking. Sweet potatoes can be the hero ingredient in a casserole or soup, or it can be added to brownies and other baked goods for a “healthy” boost that you can feel good about. Sweet potatoes (not to be mistaken for yams, which are drier and more starchy) can be either orange or purple. Both are high in antioxidants. Orange sweet potatoes contain lots of vitamin A, which contributes to healthy vision and immunity. On the other hand, purple sweet potatoes offer high levels of anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that attribute to improved brain function – including memory and learning (pregaming your midterms with these purple root veggies could be your secret to a 12).


No, I’m not talking about the band (though if listening to Linger helps get you through midterm szn, then who am I to stop you). Cranberries are in peak harvest around the autumn season, and will give an extra zing! to yummy dishes AND your immune system! They can be added to pretty much any baked good, salad, smoothie for a hit of antioxidants (or you can just drink straight up cranberry juice, but make sure it’s pure and unsweetened to avoid all that other cr*p they put in “juice”). Cranberries are loaded with vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which contributes to healthy skin, muscles, and bones. Cranberries may even help prevent UTI’s (urinary tract infections, which are one of the most common bacterial infections, particularly among women).

There are plenty of delicious and nutritious superfoods out there, some honourable mentions being pomegranates, apples, beets, and salmon. Adding a food that you’ve never tried before or using an ingredient in a new way can help bust you out of the midterm blues. Shake up your meal planning this week and try something new! Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Julianna is a final year Mechanical Engineering Student at McMaster. She is a struggling student by day and a singer/writer/foodie by night. If she had it her way she would be laying on a beach on Lake Huron, soaking up some rays and reading a good book. In her spare time, you may find Julianna daydreaming about bread, obsessing over the new F1 season, or absolutely destroying her glutes at the gym.